I was very confused when the John Cusack movie 2012 came out in 2010. It seemed like in order to play to the real life mythology surrounding the Mayan apocalypse prophesized for 2012, the film would have been released as close to the alleged doomsday as possible. Now I get it. It’s been more than a year since the world didn’t end on December 21, 2012 and knowing that the apocalypse was a dud ensures that I’ll have no interest in watching movies about it ever again. The producers of 2012 clearly wanted the film to come out well before doomsday as to not have their potential audience fall into this same level of disinterest. Even though 12 Disasters of Christmas came out in 2012, its DVD release now in 2014 is sure to disappoint audiences once they find out it’s a Mayan apocalypse movie.
I really need to stop requesting Syfy original movies to review. For every fun one that comes around (Sharknado), there are ten others that are complete garbage. 12 Disasters really has nothing going for it. The film pretends that the Mayans created the Christmas song “The 12 days of Christmas” as a means of warning people about the 2012 apocalypse, and only a chosen one can prevent it by assembling 5 gold rings at a particular altar. If she fails, the world ends. Here, our chosen on is Jacey (Magda Apanowicz), who along with her father (Ed Quinn) and Mayan expert Grant (Donnelly Rhodes) quest to find the five rings buried around their small town and prevent the end of the world.
The one thing I can say about this type of Syfy original movie is that I prefer it to the ones that are more grounded in scientific ideas. When a film like this comes along that’s working with prophecies and other supernatural elements, the writers feel less of an obligation to explain why these scenarios are plausible. Conversely, in something like Metalshifters, or Ice Quake, the writers can’t seem to help themselves when it comes to unnecessary exposition. There’s still plenty of repetition and forcing information down the audience’s throat in 12 Disasters, but it feels less gratuitous. Still, as an audience, it’s insulting to have things explained to me over and over again; as if the writers assume I’m too stupid to follow along.
Even if you tend to enjoy Syfy originals, I can’t imagine this will be amongst your favorite. The premise is thin, the characters are devoid of depth, and the special effects are laughable. The biggest mystery is why this was rated by the MPAA, and why they rated it R for “some violence.”
No special features. Available on DVD from Anchor Bay Entertainment on January 7.